KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek wants more emphasis to be placed on nutrition when it comes to preparing the nation’s elite athletes.
Shabery said that while the government had spent a lot of money on infrastructure and coaches, it had failed to stress on the importance of proper nutrition.
“It may be due to our culture that we crave for food like mee goreng, nasi lemak and roti canai. But if we are talking about doing well at the highest level, our athletes will have to change their dietary habits,” he said after visiting the National Sports Institute (NSI) to look at its facilities and support services yesterday.
“The concept of taste has to be changed and nutrition is very important.
“The nutritionists must also have the passion to educate the athletes on the right food to take because, ultimately, it will help them to perform better at the highest level.”
Shabery also supported the move for the NSI to be separated from the National Sports Council (NSC).
The NSI is currently helmed by director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz.
Shabery said the exercise (to split the NSI and NSC) would be completed when legislation is passed by Parliament later in the year.
“It should happen during the budget sitting in October. Sports science is increasingly gaining importance and it can even become an industry in itself,” he said.
“The knowledge from the application of the technologies involved can be utilised to benefit the private sector and the NSI can tap into this.”